Trade ties between the United States and Africa will be hit if the US Congress decides to close the Export-Import (Ex-Im) bank, the Financial Times reported General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt as saying.
The Ex-Im Bank provides loans, loan guarantees and credit insurance to help private companies export goods overseas.
Its biggest beneficiaries are companies such as Boeing and Caterpillar, but smaller exporters also receive financing.
Ex-Im will be forced to close if Congress does not renew its charter by September 30.
Immelt said the bank was crucial for US companies operating in Africa because it showed the government was prepared to have “some skin in the game”, the FT reported.
The closure will mean that “we are basically making a statement as a country that we do not think that exports are important,” Immelt said.
On Monday, GE said it would invest $2bn in Africa by 2018.
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